Sioux City Council Adopts Animal Feeding Ban

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By Ellen Kurt

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Feeding deer and wild turkeys in Sioux City will be illegal starting this weekend.

The City Council gave final approval Monday to a ban on feeding the animals, a move aimed at reducing traffic accidents and damage to plants caused by wild animals, the Sioux City Journal reported. The ordinance takes effect Saturday.

Residents still will be able to feed birds and squirrels and plant flowers and trees that provide food for turkeys and deer. But those caught feeding turkeys and deer will be cited with a municipal infraction that carries a $65 fine or be charged with a simple misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $100 on a conviction.

The city will work with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on a deer management plan.

The council considered a similar ban in 2010 but backed off after a number of people said they wanted to feed the animals. The council's vote on Monday was 4-1 in favor of the ban.

"The city is not a farm," Councilwoman Rhonda Capron said.

Councilman Keith Radig voted against the ban, saying he thinks it will be difficult to enforce. He also said there are at least 100 licenses that still can be issued by the state for bow hunters to kill deer in the city.

Bev Hinds told the newspaper that the council's action is the first step to be proactive in culling the deer, which can transmit Lyme disease.

"My backyard looks like a barnyard," Hinds said. "I have a doe and two fawns in my backyard."

Sheryl McGowan said she wants something done to reduce the herds of deer in her neighborhood.

"They keep breeding," she said. "I don't see this being the solution, but we shall see."

At least two other Iowa cities have banned feeding deer: Polk City near Des Moines and Elkader in northeast Iowa.

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